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Representations of Femininity: The Complex Matter of Agency by Amal Treacher.

Representations of Femininity: The Complex Matter of Agency by Amal Treacher.

Events - Talks

The Study Sessions: After Orientalism

Representations of Femininity: The Complex Matter of Agency by Amal Treacher Kabesh

16 Jan 2018

The Study Sessions are a series of informal reading and discussion groups. The point of departure for this season's series is Edward Said’s canonical book OrientalismMore>>
 
Representations of Femininity: The Complex Matter of Agency by Amal Treacher Kabesh.
 
In this session Amal will explore the issue of how agency is judged in relation to women who inhabit a specific patriarchal society and this entails a focus on matters of power and recognition.
 
Feminist postcolonial theory is ambivalent about women and agency as on the one hand feminists advocate that women should pursue freedom from oppression, be active and independent. Alongside these demands, feminist theory is engaged with tracing through the various ways that women are oppressed (through various socio-cultural-political structures) and for some academics emphasis is placed on the internalisation, and perpetuation, of these repressive structures. The vexed matter of women, agency, choice and autonomy is at the fore of many debates within feminist postcolonial theory. The tendency is for many Western feminists to position women from the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia as victims solely of patriarchal and familial structures that are firmly embedded within oppressive socio-political configurations. From this vantage point of superiority ‘brown’ women are perceived and represented as in need of rescuing from ‘dangerous brown men’. Edward Said’s theoretical framework is a starting point for thinking through matters of agency in relation to both men and women and to challenge western accounts of power, agency and subjection.
 
Reading material:
- Kabesh Treacher, A., Egyptian Revolutions (2017), chapter 5 'Female Agency'
- Lewis, R., Gendering Orientalism (1996), 'Introduction' and chapter 1 'Race, Femininity and Representation'
 
Please note, this session is now fully booked.
 
 
6.30-8.30pm
Free, The Studio
 
 
Amal Treacher Kabesh is Associate Professor in the School of Sociology (University of Nottingham). She has published extensively on matters of identity with a particular focus on women, ethnicity and the ethics of recognition. Her monograph Egyptian Revolutions: Conflict, Repetition and Identification (2017) explores the continuities from the past to the present and pays close attention to the emotions and fantasies evoked by the socio-political conditions in Egypt. Amal combines postcolonial theory with a psychosocial studies framework to think through matters of subjectivity.

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